Note: Sorry this is late, dear readers. My internet provider decided to go down late yesterday evening and has just come back online. I will be posting some catch-ups all day on my blogs.
“What the hell…” Jenna murmured as she tried to get out of her chair, but tripped and fell to the floor instead. “This is crazy nonsense.” She looked up at Rick, but he seemed to be in a trance of some sort as he focused solely on Rayne. “Rick? Dammit, Rick.” She pushed her chair with one of her feet, and although a chair leg bounced against Rick’s leg, he still didn’t respond.
Rayne’s head slumped forward. She began to shake and then the pain began – a sharp stabbing in the center of her stomach. She cried out, jerked her hand away from Rick and wrapped her arms around her midsection.
The jerk snapped Rick out of his trance. He glanced over at Jenna who was still on the floor, leering at him. Then he heard Rayne wailing in pain.
“What just happened?” he asked as he stood up and went around the table to Rayne, who by now was rocking back and forth in her chair.
Jenna stood up and dusted off her suit. “Gee thanks, partner,” she muttered. “I don’t know what happened. One second she was telling us about her visions and the next minute she said he, whoever he is, was watching me. It freaked me out. Still freaks me out.”
Rick tapped Rayne on the shoulder. No response. He placed his hands on her shoulders and gently shook her. “Rayne? Come on, Rayne. We need you.”
“Honestly? We need her? Just look at her. She’d be better suited to a psych ward than helping us on this case,” Jenna retorted.
Rick turned toward Jenna. “I know you are used to dealing in facts, Jenna and I know you are a hard-nosed agent, but she has already given us a few clues that match the facts you cherish so dearly.”
“Did you even hear what she said? It was happening right now. How is that even possible? No one knows what is happening…”
“It’s true,” Rayne interrupted. “Except now it may be too late to help either girl. He knows you are looking for him and he knows I am helping you.”
Rick knelt beside Rayne. “How does he know?”
“Last night, he saw me. In my cottage, he saw me. Just for a moment. And…” she hesitated.
“And what?” Rick asked.
“And just now, he saw Jenna, or I should say, I saw Jenna through his eyes.”
“I thought you could only see past or future events.”
“So did I, but this one… Everything is different this time. I see what’s he’s doing in real time and I don’t know how, but he knows I’m watching him.”
Jenna had sat back down in her chair, listening intently to the conversation, but something Rayne said didn’t sit well with her. “What do you mean this time? Rick said your visions aren’t reliable, that the most you’ve done successfully is find someone’s missing ring.”
“There was another similar episode five years ago. I didn’t mention it because… well, no one believed me and… the visions weren’t as clear as they are this time.” Rayne wrung her hands in her lap as she looked over at Jenna. She tried to internalize the pain ripping through her stomach, but Rick noticed.
“You’re in pain. Do you need to lie down? We could take you upstairs to Jenna’s room.”
Rick turned his head and sneered at Jenna. “How would it look if a local girl was found in a strange man’s room?”
“No, no,” Rayne pleaded. “I cannot stay here. I’ve been here too long as it is.”
“Why not, Rayne?” Rick asked as he turned his attention back to her.
“Granite,” she said softly.
“Here we go with the freakin’ stones again,” Jenna moaned as she threw her hands up in the air.
Rick rolled his eyes at his partner, who snarled her nose up at him and folded her arms across her chest. He knew he should have come alone on this trip. Jenna was such a skeptic about everything unless it was cold hard facts. They would have a tussle later; he could feel it in his bones. Just one more thing Jenna didn’t understand or believe in. Rick knew whenever there would be a fight between them. His bones ached. The first time it happened, he tried to put it off on age, but he’d only been twenty-nine. They’d just become partners and they argued a lot back then. Now, six years later, he still felt it every time he knew they would get into a heated argument over a case. It wasn’t a painful ache. Just a dullness in his shoulders. He shrugged off the growing twinge and patted Rayne on the hand.
“Did you drive here?”
Rayne shook her head. “I walked.”
Rick stood up and offered his hand to her. “Let me drive you back to your cottage then.”
She took his hand and stood up, smoothing out her emerald skirt with her free hand. Rayne picked up her hobo bag off the chair beside her and allowed Rick to lead her out of the dining room.
As Rick passed by Jenna, he whispered, “Coming?”
This time Jenna rolled her eyes, but followed along behind her partner and the strange woman who was already getting on her nerves. As they headed toward the front door of the B&B, the door opened and the bell clanged. A tall couple entered. The man smarted a three-piece suit. He had brown hair, a beard and mustache, all with touches of grey in them. The woman, a great deal younger than the man, had blonde hair which was pinned up on the right with a flashy diamond-encrusted hair comb and the left side hung down in curls. Jenna watched the woman’s demeanor change as Rick and Rayne passed her. Her face crinkled up and she huffed as though she were a raging bull. When she breezed past Jenna, the woman stared her dead in the eyes. Suddenly, Jenna understood what Rayne had meant. The woman’s eyes were cold slabs of granite. She tore her eyes away from the woman’s and hurried to catch up with her partner.
As they got to the car, Rick helped Rayne into the back seat and closed the door. Before he could get to the other side of the car, Jenna began blabbering.
“Did you see that? Those eyes… I swear, Rick… the coldest things I’ve ever seen. And we’ve seen some cold sickos out there, but this woman’s eyes…”
“Just get in the car,” Rick sighed.
Once inside the car, Jenna turned half-way around in her seat and flashed Rayne a brief smile. “I saw them,” she said in a low voice.
“Saw what?” Rayne asked.
“The granite eyes.”
“That’s Mindy Stevenson,” Rayne said in a monotone voice.
“She looks like an ice queen.”
“More like an ice queen bitch. She married Charles for his money and had his mother booted out of the B&B. We have bad blood between us.”
Rick listened as he drove along the windy road toward Rayne’s cottage. He realized that there was more to her than he’d previously been told by the few locals he’d spoken to about her. Sure, the locals said that Rayne was an odd one, that she kept to herself and rarely came into town. A few women admitted that they were clients and spoke highly of her, but when he had mentioned her name to Mindy Stevenson his first day in Sadie Falls, the woman had glared at him and snarled up her nose.
“She’s an evil woman. If you’ve come here to see her, you’d better march back to where you came from before she curses you. That’s what she does, you know. Her and that whole lot of Fallons. Hundreds of years of their curses. She’s the last of ‘em though. Maybe we will finally have some peace in this town when she’s dead.”
Strangely enough, Rick had felt more venom from that woman than he had from Rayne the first time he met her. He glanced up and watched her through the rearview mirror. She sure didn’t look evil. In fact, she looked quite fragile. She just sat there, quietly staring out the window, her hands balled up into fists in her lap. Obviously, she was still in a great deal of pain. Rick turned his attention back to the road and continued listening to Jenna press Rayne for more information.
“You said there was a similar encounter a few years back. Can you tell me about it?”
Rayne continued to stare out the window. She didn’t trust Jenna Styles and didn’t want to rehash the whole Gresley thing again. No one had believed her then and Jenna hardly believed anything she’d said about the missing girls. She didn’t ask for this, any of it. Not then and certainly not now.
“Rayne?” Rick prodded.
She slowly turned her head and met Rick’s eyes in the rearview. Lapis Lazuli – trustworthy eyes, she reminded herself. She flashed him a faint smile before turning her attention to Jenna.
“Five years ago,” Rayne spoke softly, “I began having visions different than the ones I was accustomed to. I’ve always had visions. Short snippets of things that would usually come to pass a few days, weeks or even months later. Like déjà vu. I never paid much mind to them.”
“What was different about the new visions?” Jenna asked.
“I began seeing little boys. Sometimes in their beds, sometimes playing in a field, but…” she hesitated. She closed her eyes and composed herself before continuing. “But then I would see one of them on a cot crying and pleading. A man hovered over him with a belt in one hand and his other hand down in front of him. The man was always naked from the waist down.”
“What did you make of these new visions?”
“I didn’t know what to make of them. Each time I had one, I would get this intense pain in my stomach.”
“Like the pain you felt in the B&B?” Rick asked.
Rayne nodded her head. “The visions came when I slept. So, I tried not to sleep. Then they began when I was awake. I couldn’t escape them. I finally told my friend Ella about them and she suggested that I go to the Sheriff. He didn’t believe me. I couldn’t see the boys’ faces or the man hurting them. I had no other details about where it was happening.”
“That must’ve been awful for you,” Jenna replied.
“Yes, it was awful. The Sheriff berated me in the press. And that is why I stay away from skeptics,” Rayne snapped as she leered at Jenna.
Jenna bowed her head. “I’m really sorry about all that back at the B&B. Sometimes my mouth rages on before my brain can think,” she confessed.
Rick smirked at Jenna’s remark and let out a chuckle. “Sometimes?” He winked at Rayne through the rearview. “All the time,” he mouthed.
Rayne snickered and Jenna swatted Rick on the arm. Rick shrugged his shoulders and grinned at Rayne again. He turned back to the road just in time to pull into Rayne’s driveway.
“Here you are. Safe and sound,” Rick said as he shut off the engine.
Rayne let out a heavy sigh. “Nowhere is safe now that he’s seen me.”
“If it is the serial killer, he’s hundreds of miles away. I doubt seriously that he will come all this way to harm you,” Jenna assured her.
“We’re not taking that chance,” Rick decided. “We’ll stay with you until this whole thing is over,” he said, looking back at Rayne. “Jenna, take Rayne back into her cottage. I’m going to the B&B and signing us out.”
Seeing You (a working title) is the story of Rayne Fallon, a witch with the power to see into the past and future, although not always accurately. She gets tangled up with FBI’s SA Rick Harris and SA Jenna Styles as they search for an 8 year old missing girl, thought to have been kidnapped by a Serial Killer.
Seeing You ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
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I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Each day I will try to write at least 1667 words for a total of 50,000 by the end of November. Today’s total: 1967 words. Total words so far: 8937